Large crowds took the opportunity to be the first to catch a train from the new Springfield Central Station. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
Large crowds took the opportunity to be the first to catch a train from the new Springfield Central Station. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen

State silent despite plea for 'no-brainer' expansion to rail

THE State Government has remained silent despite urgent calls from civic leaders to start work on an extension to the region's rail network.

This week the SEQ Council of Mayors and Ipswich administrator Greg Chemello repeated their calls for the state to fast-track a Springfield rail line extension to cope with population growth.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey and the Department of Transport and Main Roads failed to respond to the call after questions from the QT yesterday.

Rail Back on Track advocacy group spokesman Robert Dow said the state "needs to start building it tomorrow".

"From a civil construction point of view the corridor is already there and there's no problem with land acquisitions," he said.

"The line can be extended almost immediately through to Redbank Plains.

"It should be looked at very seriously."

Mr Dow said the State Government's public transport infrastructure efforts in the growing Ipswich region had been "too little, too late".

He said to avoid playing catch up, work needed to start on the rail expansion.

"The rapid development around Redbank Plains and Ripley has already started," he said.

"We strongly support SEQ Council of Mayors."

Mr Dow said a stage one build from Springfield to Ripley could take place before consideration is given to a future loop into Ipswich.

He said connecting buses could be used if heavy rail did not suit through suburbs,

"Redbank Plains is a no-brainer, you may as well push on to Ripley and get it right from the outset," he said.

The state has previously said an extension to Springfield rail couldn't be built until Cross River Rail finishes; a claim Mr Dow disputes.

"All you're doing is extending trains a few stations, not adding any real load to the network," he said.



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